Announcing Order at the Pump

CSP 2015 Retailer Choice Best New Product FinalistThe Product Marketing is proud to announce that Gilbarco has been selected, again!, as a Finalist in the Technology-Software category in the CSP’s Retailer Choice Award – Best New Product! Upholding our long-standing tradition of bringing innovation and technology breakthroughs to c-stores everywhere, Gilbarco is launching its Order at the Pump module and is designed to work with Applause Media.

This new technology allows customers to order items at the dispenser while they fuel. Highlights include:

  • A retailer chooses their menu options – it can be for anything in the store (i.e. foodservice, beverages, tobacco, services)
  • The 10.4” color screens present the menu immediately once the fueling transaction begins
  • The customer chooses an option and a receipt is printed with the order details. Simultaneously, the order information is sent inside to the kitchen monitor for store staff to prepare.
  • After fueling is complete, the customer simply presents their ticket at the drive thru window or inside to pay and pick up their items

Our new Order at the Pump functionality is currently in its final testing phase and will be available in the coming months. Look for more information on this product coming soon.

CSP chose three finalists each in 28 different convenience store categories from a pool of hundreds of products, nominated by both retailers and suppliers. This group represents the best new products introduced to the market within the past year.

Please vote for us now! Voting ends Tuesday, September 1!

Simply click this link and scroll to “Technology-Software”: CSP 2015 Retailer Choice Award

Why CNG is a Money Maker

CNGCNG pumps seems to be popping up everywhere… I travel a lot and have seen them from coast to coast – big cities like Nashville, Chicago, Denver, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and smaller hubs like Albuquerque, Amarillo, and Bemindji, MN. (Yes, I’ve been there.) With all of these CNG pumps, I have to ask –what the heck is it and are there really cars for it?

CNG

Google tells me that CNG is Compressed Natural Gas. Evidently it is drawn from natural gas wells in the US. CNG Now’s website reports that there are 12 million cars running it in the US. This seems to be a staggering figure considering that every time I pull up to my local gas station there is a line for every gas pump.

A Consumer’s BFF

But, that’s just the point! The appeal of CNG – availability. With this alternative fuel there is no importing from Middle Eastern countries, no politics wreaking havoc on gasoline prices, and no tug of war over our pocketbooks. It is a completely independent and reliable fuel source – this means no frantic trips to the gas station when the nightly news hints at a war in the Middle East. Plus for the eco-conscious, it is cleaner than standard gasoline – the experts say it has 90% less emissions over petrol. With these advantages, consumers are increasingly demanding it.

CNG Cars – Hot Sellers

Detroit and our friends in Asia have caught onto this and are racing to manufacture CNG cars in abundance. Honda makes a CNG version of its Civic and it’s sold out!! Ford, Dodge and Chevy are not to be left behind either – they are rapidly launching new CNG vehicles including a Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Dodge Ram 2500 CNG, Ford F-250 pickups, Ford Fusion and Ford C-Max to name a few. And all indications point to more models on the way. With all of these CNG vehicles on the road and increasing consumer demand, no wonder there are so many CNG pumps! It appears that convenience store owners and fueling stations are getting ahead of the trend and installing CNG fueling now. (One look at the number of stations on any CNG Fueling Map and you’ll know I’m telling the truth.)

CNG Creates Customers

These smart station owners understand that staying ahead of the consumer curve is key to retail success. Market research studies indicate that the thought leaders, the early adopters (those who purchase a new product,) influence the rest of the consumer base. Retailers want to attract these consumers. Why? Because they can establish a long steady stream of later customers.

And this can be achieved just because a site offered a product before the competition. For convenience store owners wanting to stay ahead of the curve, now is an attractive time to jump on this fuel option. Gilbarco, the leader in fueling dispensers, reports it is launching a new line of CNG dispensers with added features and options. Check out their website for more info.

CNG is popping up everywhere and is here to stay – make a move and invest now… it’s a customer- and money-maker.

When to Upgrade/Replace an Aging POS System

And how to leverage EMV Incentive Programs to win!

Passport Point of SaleA C-store’s POS system is the heart of a retail sales transaction. Retailers need and demand system reliability and many POS systems will see 10+ years of continuous operation. As systems age, hardware components degrade from continuous use and eventually, Retailers must weigh system performance and repair costs against the costs of replacing new.

Current EMV incentive program s provide Retailers a unique opportunity to upgrade to a new POS system that offers more features, faster performance and warranty coverage.

POS Replacement Considerations:

System capabilities:

  • Software functionality (Impulse merchandising, Lottery at the Pump, Food Service)
  • Third-party interfaces

Physical attributes:

  • Smaller footprint to free-up valuable retail counter space
  • Responsive touch screen for improved operator interface

Hardware:

  • Faster processor speed (overall improved system performance and faster customer transactions)
  • More memory (overall faster system performance)
  • EMV-compliant PIN Pads (compliance requirements)
  • Reliability (new hardware peripherals vs. tired and worn peripherals)

Cost of Ownership:

  • Maintenance
  • Warranty
  • Field support (vendor support footprint)
  • Help Desk support (onshore/offshore)

System architecture

  • Transaction security
  • Robustness of design

Individual Retailers or IT specialists will assign different weights to the above and other factors when considering POS replacement. And while there is no “one-size fits all” formula, the ultimate goal is uninterrupted business uptime and consistent customer satisfaction. Understanding that your POS system is the heart of the retail sales transaction, the upcoming EMV upgrade requirement and available EMV incentive programs may make “now” the best time to consider replacing an aging POS system.

In an effort to leverage EMV incentives, Gilbarco has worked with various MOCs to develop brand-specific upgrade and full-system replacement programs. In most cases, MOC incentive dollars can be used to replace a competitive (non-Gilbarco) POS system with a new Passport All-in-One POS system.

Please take advantage of these lucrative MOC EMV incentive programs before they expire by contacting your local Gilbarco Distributor and requesting information regarding your brand-specific upgrade or competitive POS conversion program.

Convenience Stores and the Benefits of Scanning

Dan WitkemperDan Witkemper, Product Manager, Point of Sale

Does the name Clyde Dawson ring a bell with you? If not, here’s a bit of trivia – In June of 1974, Clyde was the first customer to purchase a barcode scanned item in a grocery store[1]. Since that first scan, the use of barcodes on merchandise, coupons, and loyalty cards has become integral to the purchasing process for most grocery and many C-Stores throughout North America.

For the majority of C-Store retailers with 10 sites or more, scanning is a no brainer. These retailers have learned long ago that automation through scanning brings with it the benefits of increased consumer satisfaction and higher margins through:

  • Faster checkout process
  • Elimination of cashier errors
  • Accurate inventory assessment
  • Reduced shrinkage
  • Labor savings

However, many of the approximately 90,000 C-Store retailers with 1-10 sites, continue to do business without scanning technology. Instead, relying on the POS Terminal’s numeric keypad for keying in the transaction and therefore they are missing out on the aforementioned benefits. The reason given by many of these retailers for opting not to enable scanning is due to the initial implementation costs, which include: addition of the scanner hardware, possible Point of Sale upgrade, price book management.

What to look for:

  • Scanner: Pass up the UPC only scanner and go straight to a dual UPC/2D scanner. This will save you from having to replace the scanners down the road as mobile payment and driver’s license scanning becomes more pervasive. (a leading use case for indoor mobile payment transactions is to use the POS scanner to scan a 2D payment barcode on the phone – we’ll save that for another blog)
  • Point of Sale: At minimum, you need a Point of Sale system that can connect to an external scanner and supports UPC barcodes. Ask if the device currently supports 2D scanning, or if a future software update will handle this. If not, you may want to look at another system.
  • Price Book: There are several back office partners available that cater to retailers with 1-10 sites with low cost price book and back office tools that reduce the retailer’s upfront investment. We’re even aware of one, Success Systems[2], which offers a free price book / reporting package to help C-Store retailers get started with scanning and electronic invoicing.

In general, a move to automated scanning can enable your store to achieve a sales increase of at least 4-5% with a full ROI in as few as 2-3 months. If you haven’t yet begun scanning at your store, it’s not too late to get started.  And by doing a little homework now, you can make sure you’re ready to take advantage of new scanning implementations down the road.

Gilbarco has arranged for any Passport user to receive a FREE version of ePB-Retail Link™ from Success Systems. Please visit Success Systems® web site  for more information.

[1] June 26, 1974: By Gum! There’s a New Way to Buy Gum, Randy Alfred
[2] Success Systems

A Cure for EMV-phobia

A change is on the horizon. For most people just the change itself is scary, but imagine you’re a retailer and you need to alter the entire way you process credit cards PLUS your business depends on it… and now you understand why EMV-phobia is sweeping our industry.

EMV is a monumental change to card processing as we know it, and the process looks overwhelming. Many are left asking – How do I get there? What do I need to buy? Has anyone implemented yet? Just searching the internet for “emv approval process” results in more than 20 pages of content, and none of it agrees or is very clear! How does a retailer decide the best path to EMV compliance?

The people at Gilbarco Veeder-Root put together a panel of industry experts to discuss this. In fact, they’re hosting a free webinar on Friday, August 21st.  This event promises to be educational and includes straight-forward answers to the following:

  • Equipment
  • Best practices
  • Industry trends
  • Timelines (with a concentration on POS systems)
  • EMV approval process
  • Benefits of EMV compliance
  • Interactive questions and answers

In case you’re interested, sign up today.